9 Ways to Attract Young Talent to Event Management with Diversity and Inclusivity
A variety of industries are currently being impacted by a shortage of candidates. In the events industry, this has been driven by the loss of event-based infrastructure and the impact of the pandemic, which led many professionals to leave their roles and find jobs in a different sector.
Younger generations of candidates are the key to tackling talent shortages, offering businesses a fresh pool of potential employees that can bring new perspectives and skills to the table. But attracting candidates from a new demographic can be challenging, and with so many industries seeking younger talent, the market is incredibly competitive at the moment.
Another topic that is increasingly being discussed in conversations about recruitment is diversity and inclusion in the workplace. As we discussed in our 2023 World Trends Report, more and more companies across the MICE industry and beyond are recognising the need to diversify their workforce and ensure that their workplace is as inclusive as possible, which brings with it a range of benefits.
In our report, Gabrielle Austen Browne, the founder of Diversity Alliance, highlighted the importance of event companies “ensuring we are continually and intentionally working towards having diverse representation in all levels of the business and when planning and delivering events. We need diverse talent and next-generation talent to recognise that this industry is one where they will feel welcome, can contribute, and will thrive”.
Hiring young and diverse talent is a recruitment strategy that will help many event management companies thrive in the industry today. The two approaches are also linked, meaning that you can use your strategies for recruiting a diverse workforce to also attract candidates from younger generations.
In this article, we discuss the benefits of building a diverse team and share the best strategies for diverse event management recruitment and attracting candidates from a younger demographic.
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What Are the Benefits of a Diverse Workforce?
A diverse workforce is a team of employees that come from a variety of different backgrounds and represent a range of different identities. Different ages, races, cultures, religions, genders, sexualities and abilities will be presented in a diverse workforce, and all of these people should be given equal opportunities to progress and succeed regardless of their identity.
Ensuring diversity in recruitment should be an essential part of any event management company’s hiring strategy. First and foremost, this is because the events industry should be a place where everyone has an equal opportunity to work, and yet there’s still quite a way to go when it comes to diversity.
A 2020 research paper by Fay Sharpe and Dr Kate Dashper identified that 82% of employees in the events industry are white, whilst only 3% identify as black, African or Caribbean. Additionally, whilst the industry has a higher percentage of women, 42% of men in the events industry hold executive roles, with only 23% of women in the industry having the same level of seniority.
Whilst a lot of effort has been made by a variety of organisations to improve diversity and inclusion at work over the past couple of years, there’s still a lot of progress to be made. As well as being an important step to take in setting a standard in the industry and improving diversity as a whole, there is also a range of business benefits to diverse recruitment strategies.
Diverse Teams Create More Diverse Events
From an industry-specific point of view, having a diverse range of people on an event management team is a benefit because these teams are more likely to organise events that are more appealing to a diverse range of people. By having different perspectives in the people planning and hosting your events, you’ll be better placed to cater to a larger and wider audience, which will increase the number of attendees. This will help to make your events more successful and increase the number of people that know about your events, which is great for your reputation as well as your business.
Diverse Teams Make Diverse Recruitment Easier
From a recruitment perspective, attracting a diverse range of candidates will get easier as your team grows more diverse. Organisations are much more appealing to individuals that see themselves as already represented in the current employees, especially when there are diverse candidates at all levels of the business. Once you’ve established successful strategies for recruiting a diverse workforce, it will get easier to continue to make your team more diverse.
Diverse Companies are More Innovative
A range of studies have been done exploring the impact that a diverse team has on business performance, and one of these investigated the link between diversity and innovation. Having a range of people from different backgrounds with different experiences means that you’ll have a wider variety of ideas, and research by BCG found that companies with above-average scores for diversity has 45% higher average innovation revenue.
Diverse Companies are More Profitable
A study by McKinsey that is often referenced when discussing the benefits of a diverse company is their 2020 report ‘Diversity Wins ’. Data from this report found that companies with greater gender diversity and ethnic diversity are more likely to see higher profits than competitors with less diverse teams. If your event management business invests in recruiting for diversity, you’re likely to see higher profits as a result of this.
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5 Strategies for Recruiting a Diverse Workforce
Here are five of the best strategies for recruiting a diverse workforce that you can incorporate into your current event management recruitment approach.
Ensure You're Sourcing from Diverse Pools
You’re never going to recruit a diverse selection of candidates if there isn’t a wide range of people in the pools you source talent from. In order to provide equal opportunities and ensure that your job adverts are reaching all kinds of candidates, you need to make the effort to recruit from diverse pools of potential employees.
Don’t just follow the same avenues that you’ve used for recruitment in the past; consider where untapped potential talent might be spending their time or looking for jobs, and go and find them there. It can be useful to work with a recruitment expert if you’re unsure about how to approach creating a diverse talent pool, as they’ll already have contact with a variety of candidates and be able to advise on how to approach this sensitively.
Create Inclusive Internal Policies
Making an effort to recruit diverse candidates is pointless if you’re not offering them a workplace experience that will be inclusive. As part of your new recruitment strategy, make sure that you’ve assessed any internal policies that might impact candidates from different backgrounds and groups, such as maternity leave options, time off for religious holidays, and options for working abroad. You want employees from all identities to feel welcome and considered, and exclusionary company policies will make it very hard to attract diverse candidates.
Offer Internships for Underrepresented Groups
A great way to bring in diverse talent early is to offer internships or work experience to people from underrepresented groups and backgrounds. Whether you work alongside a charity or local group to do this, or partner with an educational facility that can send students your way for training and professional experience, this is a fantastic way to offer equal opportunities and help to fight systematic inequality. It also indicates a commitment to inclusion for your company, which may then start to attract more diverse candidates to other roles.
Highlight Authentic Diversity in Your Branding
When you’re genuinely trying to make an effort to recruit and include a more diverse selection of candidates, the last thing you want is for this to come across as tokenistic or disingenuous. Many people today are much more wary of brands making false claims about things like diversity, sustainability and purpose, and you need to ensure that your approach to recruiting for diversity appears sincere.
Companies will attract diverse talent by showing that they have diverse employees at all levels, which you can do with your branding, any content you share with candidates, and the staff you involve in the recruitment process. Authenticity and integrity are key here, otherwise your efforts might end up having the opposite effect.
Organise Diverse and Inclusive Events
As part of your efforts to recruit a diverse workforce, you should also ensure that the events you’re organising and managing are inclusive of a diverse range of attendees. This is one of the best ways to further demonstrate a commitment to inclusivity and by putting your brand in front of a wider audience, you should also reach a wider collection of potential employees.
How to Attract Young Talent to Event Management
Alongside a diversity recruiting strategy, event management companies also need to think about how they’re gearing their job opportunities toward younger candidates in particular. Here are four of the best approaches to consider.
Create a Strong Brand Image
Having a strong brand image is one of the best ways to attract and retain talent from younger demographics. Today’s candidates that are just entering the job market care a lot about the reputation of their workplace and will be much more likely to apply for a job if they already recognise and know the company that is recruiting. When you have a strong, identifiable and unique brand image, you offer a far more appealing prospect to younger generations than competitors with a weak identity.
Recruit Through Social Media
Social media is becoming an increasingly important platform for recruitment, particularly for candidates belonging to younger generations. A report by CareerArc and Harris Poll found that 62% of Gen Z and 56% of Millennial candidates have found job opportunities on social media and 48% of both these demographics have applied to jobs found in these platforms. If you’re aiming to attract younger potential employees, you should definitely consider posting job opportunities on your social media channels.
Offer Flexible Working Options
Speaking of Gen Z candidates, another key thing to consider when trying to attract this demographic is that they have a different set of priorities when looking for a new role. A survey by Fiverr found that flexible working options and self-management were a top priority when they’re considering job opportunities, so you need to be offering some degree of independence and flexibility with your roles. Make these clear in your job ads and be sure to make any necessary internal changes so that flexible working is easy to adapt to when new employees join.
Make Growth Opportunities Clear
Finally, another way that you can attract younger job candidates and appeal to this demographic is to ensure that the career growth opportunities within your company are clear and achievable. LinkedIn’s Workforce Confidence Index identified that 76% of Gen Z candidates were pushing for more opportunities to learn, practice and devop new skills at work, so you need to be ready to demonstrate development opportunities to your applicants. Don’t wait for them to ask about it during an interview; mention it in your job ads and on your careers page.
Recruitment in event management companies has been difficult since the pandemic, but focusing your efforts on bringing in new talent is one of the best ways that you can tap into valuable talent and ensure that you won’t continue to face skills shortages within your team. Diversity and inclusion are very important to younger generations when it comes to employment, so as well as offering benefits and career options that appeal to these demographics, you should also ensure that you’re using strategies for recruiting a diverse workforce.
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